Archive for Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Statehouse Live: Report finds major safety, security problems at state juvenile facility

July 10, 2012


— The Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex has been plagued by major safety and security problems that has led to injuries to young offenders, a report released Tuesday said.

The KJCC is a medium and maximum-security facility located in Topeka and houses 220 male and 20 female juvenile between the ages of 13 and 22.

The report by the Legislative Division of Post Audit said there were top to bottom problems in the operation and culture of the facility.

The audit cited several instances of juveniles attempting suicide because officers failed to properly monitor them.

Several members of the Legislative Post-Audit Committee were outraged by the report's findings.

"I find this not only quite alarming but really embarrassing to the state," said state Rep. Tom Burroughs, D-Kansas City.

The audit said the facility was plagued by high turnover, low pay and poor employee morale.

State Rep. Ann Mah, D-Topeka, said, "Welcome to smaller government. This is what it looks like when you fail to pay people what they should be paid."

Auditors said the problems at the facility have been going on for years.

In March, two top officials at the Juvenile Justice Authority were fired by Gov. Sam Brownback's office.

Teresa Williams, acting commissioner of JJA, told the committee she and the Brownback administration were overhauling many aspects of the agency.

"The report is inexcusable," she said of the audit.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.